Just like your natural teeth, dental restorations can normal experience wear and tear. Unfortunately, treatments, just like a patch on a car tire, don’t always last forever. Eventually they begin to leak, wear out, or just need routine replacement after their lifetime has been exceeded.
Like other restorations, dental crowns can wear out or even have new decay develop around them if they are not properly cared for. New cavities can form around the margin of the crown if a poor diet or inadequate oral hygiene is present. The actual crown does not decay, but the tooth around it can, which then allows decay to form alongside or underneath the otherwise healthy restoration. In order to treat that decay, the crown must be removed, the decay taken out, the tooth prepared, and a new crown placed on the tooth.
People that grind their teeth may also find that they wear through or fracture their crowns. Gold is more flexible, so people with bruxism may find that it wears better over time, but it can also be worn through if the habit is not avoided or a bite splint is not used. Porcelain crowns are also susceptible to chipping or fractures of the porcelain if severe grinding is present.
As your crown reaches the life expectancy, it may show some signs of leakage around the margins, which are visible as stain, discoloration, or open areas. Replacing the crown in a timely manner prevents the encouragement of new tooth decay, and maintains the structural integrity of the tooth for much longer.
Routine dental care is the best way to identify whether or not your crown is beginning to wear. Annual dental exams and x-rays help your dentist pinpoint these areas while they are smaller and easiest to treat.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Scott Merritt, BridgeMill Dentistry
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